Cooking for Mom

Tucked up whole day in office today with a series of meetings, restaurant updates and some telephonic interviews.

Yesterday we had some special demonstrations for Wonderchef during the first part of the day.Finished and went home as we had special guests over for high tea! About thirty of Mom’s senior citizen friends came over (well it was a planned evening) as they wanted to have a chit chat with me! We had quite an interactive session with a lot of recipe swapping. I had decided the menu before hand with close consultation of my mother and we served the popular favourites like kulche chole, bhel puri, sev puri, khandvi, dahi bhalle and phirni. I admit that Alyona’s khandvi turns out better than mine and the dahi bhalle (with stuffing ) that my mother makes I cannot copy! So all my cooking prowess was put to test making the other items. One lady was quite enthusiastic about different flavours of phirni and we had a long discussion about that. She came up with the contention that if ice creams can be available in so many flavours then why not Indian desserts! So her ideas are of orange phirni, chocolate kheer ( I have made chocolate phirni, fruit kheer, chocolate shrikhand), gulab jamuns in strawberry juice….This does get one down to thinking!

As some Til Poli is coming off the tawa in the kitchen, in readiness for a perfected recipe for you, time for me to go check it out at lunch!

Till I write again.

Sanjeev Kapoor

FOODFOOD, India’s first Hindi 24×7 Food Lifestyle Brand to launch in 5 days!

We had a press meet yesterday to announce the debut of our FoodFood channel on 24th January. FoodFood is the most gastronomically loaded lifestyle and entertainment concept available across TV, mobile, web etc– a 360 degree brand on the world of food, in collaboration with Mr. Raghavendra Madhav of Astro All Asia Networks. Malaysian company Astro is an integrated cross media group, with presence in Malaysia, India, Middle East, Australia and international markets, primarily engaged in the provision of direct-to-home subscription television services, radio services, film library licensing, multi-media interactive services, and television content creation, aggregation and distribution. In India, Astro has a stake in Sun Direct and South Asia FM. The company has also recently bought 49% stake in India’s premier lifestyle channel, NDTV Good Times.
We also have Ms Madhuri Dixit Nene as the Lifestyle Ambassador of FoodFood. She not only epitomizes Indian womanhood, but being a foodie herself, she brings to the brand a lifestyle perspective. She said on the occasion that she is extremely excited with the concept and thought behind FoodFood and that she looks forward to contributing as its Lifestyle Ambassador.
Through FoodFood, we hope to create a medium that will celebrate food in all its splendor across multi platforms. This TV channel is just one among many platforms to follow. With the concept of Cooking+ Food +Food-lifestyle, the TV channel aims to be all things food. Not only does it have it’s very own “Food Editor” – renowned chef, Rakesh Sethi ( with over 28 yrs experience across Taj SATS, Oberoi and Intercontinental hotels), it has also roped in several Indian celebrity chefs ( Nitin Tandon, Shantanu Gupte, Anurag Bali etc) to add spice to it’s programming content.
FoodFood COO Mr Karthik Lakshminarayan was also present on the occasion. He emphasized that our chefs not only understand food and cuisine, they are also in tune with the audiences’ lifestyle preferences. He stressed that we will produce and package content for our shows that are relevant to the Indian audiences. FoodFood is not just about stand-and-stir kind of shows, it will feature programming that is compellingly interactive with the audiences.
Targeting the middle class Indian in urban towns and cities as its core audience, FoodFood will produce and package all its content in India. The entire content and programming is in Hindi and is created by Indians, for Indians. In order to connect to our audiences across the country, we will feature shows about food and food lifestyle like ‘Firangi Tadka’, ‘Sirf 30 Minute’, ‘Sanjeev Kapoor’s Kitchen’, Chef ka Muquabla and Ready-Steady-Cook, to name a few.
FoodFood will redefine food in our lives. Food is all set to become the new entertainment. FoodFood is not just a food channel, we are here to provide our viewers their very own Khushi ki Recipe. The channel will be available in both analog and digital formats pan India.

Kitchen with no hassles

Have always been impressed by the Japanese style of uncluttered homes! Saw pictures in magazines and now a chance to see them first hand.

Anyway, I have been thinking about how our own kitchens can be organized better. I really do not want to stress on modular kitchens, or small Mumbai kitchens specifically. Any kitchen with an active cook, according to me, should have the focal point where the stove is (gas burner, electric burner etc) and so shall everything remain leashed to this point – you want to have things within reach especially those things that you use the most. Rest of the things put them in the periphery of vision. But a big ‘no’ to have the oil and spices in plain view. Well, you can buy the fancy containers but I would still tell you to put these two things inside a cupboard because these things are best kept in the innards of a dark cupboard. Keeps the quality and flavours going for a longer time.

I can say for myself that I love researching new appliances and then acquiring them! Well, if there is a need and space, then why not? There are so many tempting things that are creatively made to make things easier. Mount them on racks or slip under the shelf. Another space saver is a big spoon holder that allows smaller spoons in the periphery and long handled ladles etc in the centre. These are the things that get mixed up in drawers and one search for the right spoon can test the patience of a good man. If at all you like to organize things in a drawer, get one with separators. So in go the knives in one slot, forks in another, spoons in yet another! And yes, such drawers are also a blessing in the clothes cupboard because they keep the handkerchiefs away from the socks and save you oodles of search time. The fridge and freezer have door shelves. Good place to hide keys but also wonderful to keep small things like bottle openers and can openers, straws, cling film (keeping a roll in the freezer keeps the loose end always ready to pull and use!). Use this space to stack small items that will easily get lost in the deep shelves.

I get transported to the kitchen very easily, don’t I? Well, to give you some nice things to cook up if you are in your kitchen….how about…Alu Kachalu Chaat, Nariyal Puri, Kaju aur Moti Pulao.

In Dubai this weekend for a live show. Will post the details in a day or so.

Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor.

Kitchen safety and hygiene, importance of summer

I am in Tokyo enjoying some chilly winds! It is 8 deg and I guess all my talk about eating right for summer suddenly becomes more relevant as India is facing a good summer!
I would like to take up a bit of the HACCP points. The trainer Trupti Bhat made us alert about looking for the ‘date of manufacture’ AND ‘date of best before’ on all products that we purchase. Both should be printed, if it is from a reliable company. Another thing she pointed out is about storing foods as per the instructions on the pack. If the masala packet says store in airtight container once opened, it means that. It is not such a good idea to keep the masala box as it is open in the freezer or in the cupboard. Another aspect she stressed was the hygiene level in the kitchen. Like using tea strainers that are clogged or blackened or simply not clean enough to look as good as new. Important points and I am sure all of you will make use of them. The list is actually long with the chopping board that need to be disinfected, the dish clothes that need to be dried in the sunlight etc.

Summers now are not as bad as a decade ago for the fruit market. Thanks to the world becoming smaller, we have a variety of fruits: grapes are visible, so are oranges and chiku, papaya, muskmelon, watermelon, pineapple, apples, pears, sweet limes..in fact, we have a vast choice. Oranges in fact help us to accept the heat! You could probably make a cooling Narangi Shorba which has the goodness of oranges. Well, oranges do sometimes get into a soup! Or for a heavier version (not a la Sumo!) try the Lemon and Tortilla soup, which boasts of pretty strips of tortilla, cooked to perfection in a lemony stock. The theme seems to be leaning toward Vitamin C! Which is essential in summer. Soon we could be gorging on a gorgeously different mango (this King of Fruits definitely makes its presence felt!) and coconut ice-cream.
Light dinners could mean a lovely Methi Chaman Biryani with long basmati in contrast with paneer and corn niblets and a handful each of methi leaves, coriander leaves and mint leaves and fried onions and chopped tomatoes and what-have-you masalas. Dip into some mixed veg raita with this and sweet slumber beckons. How would you like to scroll down to see some cooling recipes that use fruits in detail?
Banana Yogurt Custard, Crunchy Fruits Yogurt and Cheese, Shrikhand Biscuit Pudding.

Happy Summer!
Sanjeev Kapoor.

Curries with no worries!

Working on a new concept for takeaways! I will let the suspense build up a bit and as soon as our trials take some shape I will let you know. Met one person from UK recently, Andy, and he is simply loving Indian food here! He can eat at any restaurant, and savour any Indian cuisine. Offered him a pack of buttermilk and on having the first few sips made a few faces…but as he finished the pack he wanted to know if he could carry some packs back home for his girlfriend! That’s the magic of Indian food!

Till some years ago, Indian food abroad had this picture of only being some spicy curries. But now the world is aware of the vastness and the richness of Indian cuisine. For us Indians, what is life without curry? In fact, life is not without hurry and worry too! Jokes apart, rich and heavy curries are enjoyed only once in a while and given the modern health challenges it is best to ‘skim’, ‘trim’ and ‘slim’ the curries. Indian food has many curries to be proud of and there are possibilities of some low calorie avatars too.

Curries are mostly made with a base of fat, onions, tomatoes, whole spices or even with nuts and coconut. At home, preparing curries in minimum oil is no longer an uphill task. Thanks to non-stick cookware and ingenuity of budding cooks! Pureed fresh spinach can make a rich base for mixed vegetables, or tender sweet corn kernels, or even paneer (as in palak paneer!). Make a puree of blanched spinach with some ginger, garlic and green chillies. Start cooking it in the tempered oil and add the masalas and vegetables or chicken. Puree fresh ripe tomatoes with ginger, garlic and green chillies. Sauté in a non-stick pan till a little dry. Then add boiled dal, or steamed vegetables and of course you can highlight the curry with red chilli powder and garam masala powder. Want a low cal makhni? Tomatoes are pureed with onion, garlic, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, red pumpkin, cumin seeds, kasuri methi, salt and red chilli powder. As you sauté this paste in one teaspoon of oil, keep ready some low fat milk (instead of cream) and a paste of cornflour with some sugar. Add these and simmer for a minute. Finish off the dish with the addition of your choice (grilled chicken or marinated chicken or steamed vegetables or paneer). See the pic of team working in the kitchen.

Let us add a couple of different recipes to our repertoire of healthy curries. Koftas are generally fried before being dunked in curry. But this one shuns oil. And also enjoy absolutely low calorie spinach with corn which takes on great flavour by virtue of being the best and the freshest of the season!

Tamatar Murgh Kofta, Corn in Spinach, Drumstick Curry

Till I write again
Sanjeev Kapoor

Cooking for Mom

Tucked up whole day in office today with a series of meetings, restaurant updates and some telephonic interviews.

Yesterday we had some special demonstrations for Wonderchef during the first part of the day. Finished and went home as we had special guests over for high tea! About thirty of Mom’s senior citizen friends came over (well it was a planned evening) as they wanted to have a chit chat with me! We had quite an interactive session with a lot of recipe swapping. I had decided the menu before hand with close consultation of my mother and we served the popular favourites like kulche chole, bhel puri, sev puri, khandvi, dahi bhalle and phirni. I admit that Alyona’s khandvi turns out better than mine and the dahi bhalle (with stuffing ) that my mother makes I cannot copy! So all my cooking prowess was put to test making the other items. One lady was quite enthusiastic about different flavours of phirni and we had a long discussion about that. She came up with the contention that if ice creams can be available in so many flavours then why not Indian desserts! So her ideas are of orange phirni, chocolate kheer ( I have made chocolate phirni, fruit kheer, chocolate shrikhand), gulab jamuns in strawberry juice….This does get one down to thinking!

As some Til Poli is coming off the tawa in the kitchen, in readiness for a perfected recipe for you, time for me to go check it out at lunch!

Till I write again.

Sanjeev Kapoor

Learn from mistakes, New Shopping site, Plan for New Year Eve party

Finished Day 1 of Khana Khazana shoot. Got a chance to bake to my heart’s content. In fact, baking is one technique that evokes some fear in the novice cook for they have probably heard about baking disasters! I am sure many bakers will identify with overflowing cake in the tin, or burnt cookie bottoms, or bread dough that refuses to rise, or better still forgetting to add baking powder to that special cake! My endeavour is to use my show in conveying to you that baking is a pleasure, it’s easy and simple and success rate is high. And then who learns from mistakes can actually become an expert because experience is the best teacher!


I have done some goof ups too. In live shows. While talking, placed an empty glass carafe on the gas flame and then went to pour water in it. The carafe separated into two. A little shocked. Then covered up with an apology and a smile and continued the talk. A glass carafe will go on the glass flame but will need some liquid in it to be heated. Actually, it would be fun to know how you have dealt with some mini disasters in your kitchen…all your laugh-a-aloud episodes.

I have a dedicated shopping site for books, food products and kitchen ware: shop.sanjeevkapoor.com. New Year’s Eve is a breath away and you would be wondering about party foods and what to make! How about a few leaves from my Party Book? Smoked Chicken and Fruit Salad,
Savoury Crispies with Creamy Onion Dip and an easy to do Tiramisu!

Enjoy!
Sanjeev Kapoor.